top of page

Santa Monica COVID-19 memorial event is part of a push for a national day of mourning

By Alex Wigglesworth | LA Times Staff Writer Feb. 28, 2021 11:42 am PT

A Santa Monica memorial honoring those who have died of COVID-19 is part of a grass-roots push to designate a national day of remembrance, organizers say.

The memorial will take place at noon Monday at Building Bridges Art Exchange, where an installation of felt roses by artist Marcos Lutyens pays tribute to those from Los Angeles’ Westside who have died of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Volunteers will lay a wreath as part of the Floral Heart Project, an effort launched by New York artist Kristina Libby that is coordinating the laying of wreaths in about 75 U.S. cities and towns.

Los Angeles leadership coach Carolyn Freyer-Jones will lead participants in a minute of silence. She and her brother founded the Friday Minute, which encourages people to pause for 60 seconds each week to remember those affected by COVID-19. Their father died of the disease in July, on his 86th birthday. The family hasn’t yet been able to hold funeral services due to health restrictions.

“There are so many people who have not been able to honor their loved ones in the usual rituals,” Freyer-Jones said Sunday. “And so many people are grieving in so many different ways.”

As word of her project spread via Instagram, Freyer-Jones connected with others organizing memorial efforts, including Kristin Urquiza, a San Francisco social justice advocate who also lost her father to the virus. Urquiza drew attention when she appeared